Ensuring National Security by Prioritizing Licensed Spectrum


From the moment we wake up and grab our trusty cellphones, to the magical world of smart homes and even mind-blowing self-driving cars, wireless connectivity has become an unstoppable force, weaving its way into every aspect of our lives. As our use of wireless devices increases, so does the importance of ensuring our wireless security.

A recent paper from HardenStance found that one way to protect wireless networks from high impact cyber-attacks is to make more exclusive-use licensed spectrum available. In practical terms, this means that policymakers must protect the security and reliability of America’s 5G wireless networks by making more exclusive-use licensed spectrum available to defend against nation state adversaries like China or other cyber threat actors.

Specifically, the report found that exclusive-use licensed spectrum is paramount in the wireless network security effort because:

  • It encourages companies to make their networks safe: Your phone company wants to protect their network and make sure it’s reliable for you. They do this by securing certain frequencies that they use to provide wireless service. When they have more of these special frequencies, they can make the network even safer and more reliable.
  • It builds a strong and safe system: The special frequencies that are licensed help experts create good security plans. These plans make sure that only devices that are approved and certified can connect to the network. This keeps you and your personal information safe from bad actors.
  • It makes people work together: The people and companies who use these special licensed frequencies all work closely with each other and the government. They share important information about bad things that can happen online and ways to keep everything safe. They want to make sure everyone knows how to protect against cyber threats.
  • It makes everything more consistent: The people and companies who use these licensed frequencies all have to follow similar rules and standards. This makes sure that the security is the same across all the 5G wireless networks. But the people who use unlicensed frequencies don’t have to follow these rules, so there isn’t as much cooperation and security among them.

As wireless connectivity permeates every facet of our lives, the significance of ensuring wireless security grows alongside our dependence on these devices. HardenStance’s recent paper highlights the importance of increasing the availability of exclusive-use licensed spectrum as a means to safeguard wireless networks from severe cyber-attacks.

Bottom line: Policymakers must act to ensure our cybersecurity and spectrum policy align because it’s vital to our national security. Action means ensuring a continuous stream of licensed spectrum.